DESIGN | General Court on the invalidity of a Puma Community design due to prior disclosure on Instagram

On 6 March 2024, the General Court (“GC”) handed down its judgment in case T‑647/22 (Puma SE v EUIPO), concerning the invalidity of a Community design for sports shoes (the “Community Design”), due to a prior disclosure by the applicant itself through the photos of a celebrity (i.e. the well-known pop star Rihanna) wearing the shoes. The claimant sought the annulment of the EUIPO’s decision stating that the Puma shoe model had been disclosed by some pictures depicting Rihanna wearing shoes with the same recognisable features as the Community Design, 12 months prior to the filing of the application for registration, thus prior to the so-called “grace period” referred to in Article 7(2)(b) of Council Regulation (EC) No 6/2002 of 12 December 2001 (“Decision”). The GC upheld the Decision, stating that Rihanna’s popularity drew particular attention to the shoes also from experts in the fashion industry, resulting in the disclosure of the Community Design prior to the grace period and its invalidation.

Newsletter n. 95 – April 2024